March 28, 2003 The Association of Track and Field labels it "the toughest race in the world," and two V.I. runners will get a chance to compete in it: the world cross-country championships in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The race brings the top middle and long distance runners, the top marathoners, the top road racers and the top cross-country runners in the world together.
The Virgin Islands Track and Field Federation announced this week that Lisah Hamilton and Billy Bohlke (as the top male and female finishers in the recent Central America and Caribbean Cross-Country Championships in Acapulco, Mexico) earned entry to the world championships.
Both Hamilton and Bohlke will have the opportunity improve on the performances of previous V.I. runners who participated in the competition. Those athletes included Marlon Williams (1984, '86), Greg Johnson (1984, '90), Calvin Dallas (1990, '91), Ralix Clovis (1984), Wallace Williams (1984, '86) and Betsy Gladfelter (1984, '86).
Hamilton will run the women's 8-kilometer long race, and Bohlke will run the short 4-K course. Hamilton is a graduate of the Manor School on St. Croix, a former St. Croix Dolphin swimmer, a winner of the Women Race on St. Croix, and a graduate of
Widner University, where she excelled in track and field. She was the top runner this year for the V.I. women's cross-country team, which won the bronze medal in Acapulco.
Bohlke has had a successful career as a runner from when he was a child and competed in V.I. Pace Runners events, in military school as a high school runner, and on to NCAA track and field champion Louisiana State University, where he walked on as a middle distance runner and became that school's top miler and cross-country runner.
For more information, call the V.I. Track and Field Federation at 772-0412 or logon to www.virginislandspace.com/vitffhome03.html
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